Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shielding dignity of women

There was breaking news on all the newspapers and on channels that Maharashtra is considering to make offences pertaining to sexual harassment or outraging the modesty of women non-bailable. As far as outraging modesty is considered then 70 percent women face humiliation everyday either by her boss, neighbour or colleague. Every woman, whether she accepts it or not get humiliated several times and her modesty is outraged by many direct and indirect elements of society. Whom will we punish and how will be define term outraging modesty? There are many female journalists who are randomly abused on internet. Forget about journalists, but if you go on Face Book you will find hundreds of abusers. Its fashion on social networking sites and due to lack of moral watch and inadequate law there is no controll over these issues.There are many bloggers who abuse Sonia Gandhi, Uma Bharati and Sushma Swaraj like elite weman of this country..these are just examples. Every day on an average thousands of girls get abused, insulted and outraged but these incidences goes unreported; the reason is that,no specific terms defined in Law to explain outraging modesty.

Even if a girl gets brutally raped then she has to go through different procedures to prove it and go through formalities such as narrating exact locations of rape, identifying the face of rapist, sequence of rape, time of report. While going through all these procedures, she is been mentally raped again and again. If the rapist is punished then why not all those social animals and media who made her rape a mockery and hammered it by raping her psychologically? There are laws but there is no accurate definition to all these side effects.

If you see in flesh trading, numbers of women pimps are actually more than that of men, however only few such cases come into light. There are many communities in our country in which men use their woman as sex slaves, only for their sexual pleasure and producing children, a glorified servant. These domestic rapes and violence are not reported because the woman is at the mercy of a man. She is imbibed with these false rules in the name of tradition or social norms by birth. Men are given every right to dictate. Male chauvinism is still a big curse for fairer sex; ego of a man over any successful woman is always dealt with outraging the modesty. If you visit family court in any metropolitan city, then you will find that divorce cases piled up and most of them for the reason cruelty towards woman and outraging modesty. The cases are under trial for years, during the trial too woman has to depend on the alimony decided by court from man to woman. Then comes social stigma for that we treat divorce, second marriage and live-in relationship a taboo. Also, the condition of concubines and mistresses in contract marriages are much more miserable. If you take the case of famous singer Udit Narayan, his first wife gave him miserable time but the sufferer was his second wife. Actually, Udit Narayan was the one who cheated both the women for his career and comfort. Hema Malini and Dharmendra had to adopt their own daughters, because their marriage was not legal.

Plight of a Muslim woman is much miserable because Muslims anywhere in the world are allowed to have more than one wife. In addition to this pleasure, his wife is not allowed to keep more than one man at a time. Tribal women had to satisfy men out of wedlock’s to prove herself a perfect wife on bed, and capable of giving birth to children and its happening even today. If one visits tribal areas, the he can see how women are treated even today.

In the recent past a woman politician from Kuwait has sparked anger and disbelief by calling for legalization of sex slaves, saying it would protect men from adultery, and suggesting that female prisoners from war-torn countries should be purchased for the same, as it would be a “better life” for them, and they would not die of starvation. What a barbaric talk. No surprise, the quarters it is coming from. For them women is a second grade human. Even if a woman is raped she is to be blamed for it. If a woman is raped by her father in law then as per their law, they should get married and thus ultimately her husband becomes her son. It is very surprising to know that people are still living in the medieval period, the time when such thinking actually originated. Salwa al Mutairi, a woman politician from Kuwait who made the above statements should be asked if she would have liked to be a sex slave of Iraqi's when Kuwait was a slave country of Iraq and she was a prisoner of war.

Anyways, let me come back to the new law. Maharashtra Government has proposed to be done through an amendment to section 354 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with assault or use of criminal force on women with the intent to outrage their modesty -- to make these crimes as non-bailable offences in the state. The matter was discussed extensively which deliberated upon measures to reduce crimes against women. Though no time-frame has been set for the entire process, the government is determined to push through the proposal as early as possible, the official said. In India, we do not have a sexual harassment law. We have provisions in the Indian Penal Code such as outraging the modesty of a woman or insulting the modesty of women. These provisions are, by and large, used in cases where you have a situation which is almost akin to rape. The first time, it came up in the Supreme Court.

Child marriage is one of the biggest challenges in India. Small girls are subjected to go through the physical abuse done to them by their so called husbands who can be clearly called as rapists of minors. Negligence of authorities is the major factor due to which child marriage still exist in our country. We have substantive laws that exist, even about outraging of the modesty, retrograde as the language is. If you want to give it a wider interpretation, you can; it is entirely upto the judiciary to interpret that way. We have the same problem with the definition of rape as it is only defined by the penetration of private parts. We do not expand the concept of rape beyond specific body parts. Let’s see how these new law changes the fate of woman in coming time.

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